The Houston Texans select Notre Dame wide receiver Will Fuller with the No. 21 pick in the 2016 NFL draft.

By Doug Farrar
April 28, 2016

The Houston Texans select Notre Dame wide receiver Will Fuller with the No. 21 pick in the 2016 NFL draft.


Adding Fuller to a receiving corps that's already blessed with DeAndre Hopkins is a force multiplier to be sure. While Hopkins is the do-it-all guy, Fuller is a pure speed burner who will take the top off any coverage. He's not physically dominant, he'll drop passes, and he needs work with the full route tree, but he's going to help this offense a ton. Factor that in with the free agent additions of Brock Osweiler and Lamar Miller, and all of a sudden Bill O'Brien has himself a pretty formidable offense.

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Strengths: Track-level speedster with the acceleration to jet out of breaks, and the downfield extra gear to get past any kind of coverage and take the top off a defense at any time. Can regain his top speed instantly if he has to slow down to keep up with an underthrow. Draws contact penalties from defenders who simply can’t keep up with his speed. Fluid runner who maintains his body control through his paces, and has a special ability to accelerate even further at the catch. Sinks into his breaks effectively to sell an outside route as he moves upfield on posts and seam routes. Puts outside cornerbacks to sleep with foot-fakes, then blows right past them. Willing blocker who walls off defenders pretty well when his technique is straight. Understands how to plant under and around zone coverage on curls and in and out cuts. Excellent boundary receiver. Tracks passes well, especially the deep ball—he keeps his line as he’s bringing the ball in overhead, and does so with bodies all around him. Underrated strength over the middle and on contested catches.

Weaknesses: Thin-limbed receiver who doesn’t present much of a threat against contact after the catch and is better-served as an outside receiver than as a slot guy. Was negated by Clemson’s pattern-read coverage and struggles to maintain route integrity against more physical press receivers. Beats press at the line more through speed than power and leverage. Struggles with body-catching and focus drops. Needs to develop a fuller and more refined route tree.

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